Motivating the re-imagined Canadian consumer

The latest study from Accenture outlines opportunities for brands and advertisers to set new standards for evolving audiences.

ACB187_Life-Reimagined_TopicImage_700x500The pandemic has taught advertisers and brands that they need to be nimble and agile, not only when it comes to their strategies and tactics, but also around what they think they know about the consumers they’re targeting.

Those audiences, in turn, have been forced to adjust their expectations, becoming what Accenture is calling a “Reimagined consumer.” Someone who has revisited their priorities and reconfigured why, how, where, and what they buy, and whether they will stick to a brand in question or move on to another.

Case in point, according to Accenture’s latest study – Life Reimagined: Mapping the motivations that matter for today’s consumers – 45% of Canadian consumers say that the pandemic caused them to rethink their personal purpose and reevaluate what’s important to them in life, and more than half say they would actually switch brands under certain circumstances.

Fifty-seven percent said they would switch retailers if they did not offer new fast and flexible delivery options of goods such as click-and-collect and curbside pickup.

Significant stakes, to be sure. That said, these prevailing opinions aren’t set in stone for everyone, with 35% acknowledging they continue to shift their mindsets. Representing an opportunity, says Robin Sahota, managing director and retail industry lead for Accenture Canada. “An opportunity for brands to still capture significant market share if they can address their customers’ needs and concerns .”

The big question? What motivates the reimagined Canadian consumer?

Now, more than ever, Sahota says consumers want to know what their brands stand for, and if those values reflect their own. For example, 40% of these Canadian consumers who are reassessing their priorities say that many companies disappointed them by not providing enough support and understanding of their needs during challenging times, and 69% expect the companies they’re doing business with to understand how their needs and objectives changed during this time of disruption and to address those new needs.

This attitudinal shift has very specific ramifications. Where price and quality used to dominate consumer consideration, new motivations drive the discussion. They include (in order of importance): service and personal care, trust and reputation, health and safety, ease and convenience, and product origin.


Add to that, a majority of those surveyed feel businesses and brands “are just as responsible as governments for the health of societies,” Sahota adds.

In healthcare, the study found that this new breed of consumer appreciated the convenience of virtual health appointments, with 51% saying they would actively change providers if online appointments were not available when and where appropriate.

More generally, those surveyed emphasized attention to environmental considerations, ethical brand and business practices, positive societal impact and overall improved access to customer support channels. In fact, “more than half would be willing to pay more to support a retail brand that takes these visible actions,” Sahota says.

The results of the Accenture study are dynamic, she adds, noting that users can toggle between industries to determine what motivates consumers to switch, stay, or pay, providing advertisers and brands with an ability to respond to consumer demand, turning motivations into motivators.

Ultimately, the study stipulates that being aware of what motivates those audiences, and what’s important to them, creates enormous opportunities for those brands that are able to respond, and set new strategies and standards to meet and exceed reimagined consumer expectations.

Accenture’s “Life Reimagined: Mapping the motivations that matter for today’s consumers” surveyed 25,000 consumers from 22 different countries across 14 different industries. In Canada, 1,219 consumers were surveyed.  For more information on this and other surveys visit the Accenture website